Assam Cabinet ‘dissatisfied’ with DU’s way of tackling ragging

Cops asked to bring varsity authorities under probe purview

Guwahati, Nov 29: The Assam Cabinet on Tuesday expressed ‘utter dissatisfaction’ with the way the Dibrugarh University (DU) authorities have dealt with incidents of ragging in the institution.

Referring to the physical and mental torture that prompted a first semester student of the university to jump from the second floor of his hostel in a desperate bid to ‘save his life’, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, minced no words to convey the observations of the state Cabinet, which had met for the first time in Silchar.

Addressing mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting, Sarma, when asked about the incident said, “Assam Cabinet has expressed its dissatisfaction with the way DU has dealt with such a serious offence. The university authorities have failed to deal with the menace of ragging as lapses are apparent. In fact, this incident is an outcome of sheer administrative failure of the university as the inquiry committee of DU had, till yesterday, failed to submit its report on the incidents alleged to be going on since September.”

“As such, the Cabinet has directed the state police to bring everyone, even the higher authorities of DU, within the purview of police investigation, which will probe all angles, whether any complicity was there with the authorities to suppress the incident, et al,” the chief minister said.

Sarma further asserted that ragging in any institution in the state would not be tolerated. “There will be zero-tolerance against ragging,” he said, while adding that he had immediately after the incident came to light, spoken to the superintendent of police, Dibrugarh, to nab the accused who are absconding.

The victim, Anand Sharma, an M.Com first semester student of DU, had earlier intimated the university authorities that he had been subject to ragging by some students, even as there had been no action till Monday.

Sharma had, in a written complaint to the warden of ‘C’ block of the Padma Nath Gohain Baruah Chatra Nivas on November 17, 2022, named 10 students who are alleged to have been involved in ragging.

Magisterial probe

Meanwhile, a magisterial inquiry into the incident is being conducted by additional DC Sanghamitra Baruah since Monday evening.

Notably, the Dibrugarh University authorities have filed an FIR against four students along with a former student, who is the prime accused and absconding, for their alleged involvement in the incident.

Besides, 18 students and boarders have been expelled from the hostel after they were “found to be involved in ragging under Clause 6 of the Dibrugarh University Regulations for Prohibiting Ragging and Anti-Ragging Measures (as amended up to date).

According to the authorities, Sharma was physically abused and mentally tortured by an ex-student and some other students throughout the night (Saturday) inside the Padma Nath Gohain Baruah Chatra Nivas, leading to such a step by the victim.

Meanwhile, authorities of the private hospital, where the victim was admitted in a critical condition, said the student’s condition was stable even as he would need surgery to treat spinal cord injuries.

“He also has a fractured bone (hand) for which orthopaedic doctors are treating him. But the entire recovery post surgery, and rehabilitation process, would be long, it seems,” an official said on Tuesday.

Chief minister Sarma, when informed about the guardians’ wish to take their son outside Dibrugarh for advanced medical treatment, said that he would request the education minister to make arrangements in that regard.

 

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